Outdoor fire pits are the easiest way of creating heat outdoors. They are becoming the norm and are now beginning to appear in backyards everywhere. There are several variations of fire pits and the best one to suit your needs depends upon the size of space (remember â€“ fire pits contain fire!), the look or style that best appeals to your tastes and of course, your budget.
Whilst you can pick up a fire pit or the components for a DIY version, they can be incredibly expensive and so prior, to buying one, you need to consider your options carefully. Having said that, if money's no object â€“ knock yourself out!
Outdoor Fire Pits
Not to be confused with patio heaters (which look like a large, decorative lamppost), outdoor fire pits come in three variations:
Again â€“ the type of fuel you prefer will affect the type of fire pit you end up with. Wood fire pits for e.g. can be simply dug out and installed straight into the ground â€“ it's a simple task to find a good DIY video that shows you 'how to' via the internet. But you also have to factor in fuel stock: wood burning fire pits require a good supply of dry wood.
Equally, gas fire pits require gas tanks. Propane has now become a popular gas and is readily available, safe (once you know how to use it), relatively cheap and even better, it's considered to be very eco-friendly.
Charcoal pits will, like wood, require a stockpile, though charcoal is probably easier to collect and store than a pile of wood. Having said that, charcoal and wood can burn very quickly, so you will need a good stock in the garden shed of garage. However, both charcoal and wood pits can be relatively cheap to buy.
You can opt for the very simply 'brazier' type â€“ a simple steel bowl that's on legs and easily portable. Or, as previously mentioned, you can construct one at a chosen site in your garden. If you prefer the idea of a gas fire pit, then you are going to spend more money on the initial outlay but - the propane fire pits can be incredibly stylish.
Some are contemporary, others can have a more elegant appeal â€“ it depends on personal preference. And to be honest â€“ some of the propane fire pits currently on the market can only be described as ostentatious and flamboyant. With equally flamboyant price tags â€¦
Compare Fire Pits
In comparison to each other, wood and charcoal pits are cheaper than gas pits and some prefer the rugged 'outdoors' feel that they give. Plus there's just something about sitting around an open log-burning fire. However, they are messy. Wood burners always need clearing out after use, as do charcoal burners. The biggest downside is probably windy weather and the smoke, if your fuel isn't completely dry.
Propane fire pits on the other hand, remain lit when it's windy, don't create smoke or smoky smells and you'll never need proficiency in fire starting skills. However, you will need to inform yourself as to how propane works and how to use it safely. And, above all â€“ adopt the correct fire safety measures and keep you, yourself and your family and friends safe.